The Conference was held in celebration of Adriano Garsia's 75th birthday. In particular, the last two days, Friday and Saturday, were reserved for talks given by his former students, co-authors and friends, culminating with a lecture by Adriano himself.
Our wish was to celebrate his remarkable contributions to combinatorics, as well as his legendary enthusiasm in the hope of thanking him for the constant source of inspiration he has been to many of us.
This volume contains some of the contributions presented at this 17th FPSAC Conference. There were five plenary lecturers given by Christine Bessenrodt, Corrado De Concini, Ronald King, Renzo Pinzani and Jeff Remmel.
We would like to thank the members of the Program Committee for their invaluable work in helping to select talks and posters from a pool of 115 very high-quality submissions. We wish to thank the members of the Organizing Committee for their helpful insights. In particular, Hélène Barcelo for her invaluable help and advice, Maylis Delest who put in far more than her share of work and was responsible for the electronic submissions and (local) Proceedings. We are also thankful to Jennifer Morse who, with her exemplary efficiency obtained funds from both the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation; Christian Krattenthaler, Francesco Brenti and Andrea Brini, who were generously contributing funds from the Algebraic Combinatorics in Europe network and the University of Bologna.
We are grateful to the following institutions for their substantial financial support: the University of Messina, the University of Palermo, the University of Bologna, Gruppo Nazionale per le Strutture Algebriche e Geometriche e loro Applicazioni (GNSAGA) dell'Istituto Nazionale di Alta Matematica, the National Security Agency (USA), the National Science Foundation (USA) and HP-Makers.
Finally, we wish to thank the speakers, all those who submitted papers for consideration and the 200 participants for their contribution in making this Conference a success.